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Rudy Gobert was probably robbed for All-NBA Defensive team. So Watch out. -- Downbeat #1920

Get angry. Then get better.

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

RUDY GOBERT WAS ROBBED! Also, Olympics preview for the Australian team, a look back at NBA Playoffs history with our Utah Jazz Golden Age, and of course, more NBA Draft News.


Yesterday was the deadline for players who were just dipping their toes in the NBA Draft pool. Some players were only in college for the minimum number of years and knew they would be declaring, like Ben Simmons. Others avoided the charade entirely, like Thon Maker. Some where in it for a little longer, but knew they were packing their bags for the NBA, like Kris Dunn and Jokob Poeltl. And of course, there are the international pros and college seniors who don't really have a choice at this point, like Dragan Bender and Buddy Hield.

Still though, for others discretion was the better part of valor. A number of these players were on NBA Draft big boards (including my own), a few were even on some mock drafts -- but even though a few workouts with NBA teams, it did not seem like they would end up being selected once out of sixty. There were 117 underclassmen who had initially declared for the NBA Draft, and 45 international players. The foreigners have until June 13th to make a decision, but for the NCAA players it was yesterday.

Some of the players going back to college for (at least) another year are:

Player Ht Wt Pos Age Ex College Workout Batch AVG STDEV Mock n = MODE
1 Melo Trimble [x] 6 3 190 1 21.0 2 Maryland 48.29 ± 19.78 7 #N/A
2 Malik Newman [x] 6 4 179 1 2 19.0 1 Mississippi St. 52.00 ± 4.47 8 52
3 Josh Hart [x] 6 5 202 2 20.9 3 Villanova 60.50 ± 16.15 6 #N/A
4 Nigel Hayes [x] 6 8 235 4 21.2 3 Wisconsin 1 5 74.75 ± 9.14 4 82
5 Dillon Brooks [x] 6 6 225 2 3 2 Oregon 80.00 ± 12.03 4 #N/A
6 Tyler Dorsey [x] 6 4 180 1 20.0 1 Oregon 1 5 81.33 ± 18.58 3 #N/A
7 Isaiah Briscoe [X] 6 3 218 1 2 19.8 1 Kentucky 83.50 ± 8.74 4 #N/A
8 Caleb Swanigan [x] 6 9 247 4 19.0 1 Purdue 87.00 ± 5.66 2 #N/A
9 Marcus Lee [x] 6 9 225 4 5 3 Kentucky 94.50 ± 23.33 2 #N/A
10 Amida Brimah [x] 7 0 230 5 22.0 3 UCONN (GHA) 102.00 ± 24.04 2 #N/A
11 James Blackmon Jr. [x] 6 4 195 2 2 Indiana 104.00 ± #N/A 1 #N/A

As you may be able to figure out, some of these guys were potentially going to be selected to non-guaranteed 2nd rounder contracts; while the most of them were going to go undrafted entirely. Two had worked for the Jazz, both in the 5th round of workouts -- Nigel and Tyler. Utah, who has three 2nd round picks this year (#42, #52, and #60), was an attractive workout destination for a lot of these bubble guys. But ultimately these kids did the right thing by going back to school.

While 11 players out of 117 isn't a lot, please be sure that this is just a list of some of the 11 that were doing the right thing by going back. Lots of other underclassmen remain in the NBA Draft. Three guys who are staying in the Draft (that are similarly bubble-ish guys) are Louisville's bigman Chinanu Onuaku, Seton Hall's shooting guard Isaiah Whitehead, and Indiana's Troy Williams. Williams is still very likely to go undrafted, but by ordinal rank both Chinanu (ordinal rank #45) and Isaiah (ordinal rank #58) should go drafted.

They may be players to keep an eye on if the Jazz do bring them in for workouts.



Hey, let's feel bad for a moment! (You know, even more than we normally do.) The Utah Jazz have been fixtures in the NBA Playoffs for most of our lives, if you are my age you saw the rise of the Golden Era of John Stockton and Karl Malone. I remember seeing the team go deep in the NBA Playoffs, making the Western Conference Finals five times in seven seasons, and having a shot at the title two years in a row in the NBA Finals. That's not all I remember, though. I also acutely remember a lot of 1st round exits (mostly pre- Jeff Hornacek back when the front office used to do nothing to help John and Karl actually be contenders).

I'm not the only one who remembers. The Comeback's Matt Yoder dropped a piece about the NBA's 5 Most Tortured Playoffs teams. It's not a surprise to see some of these teams on the list: the Los Angeles Clippers, the Sacramento Kings, the Atlanta Hawks, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and of course, the Phoenix Suns. (Yes, there are six teams in a five team list. Shut up.) It's worth the read as Matt breaks down the trials of each of these teams. Here's an excerpt from the Jazz write-up:

The Utah Jazz had two of the best players in NBA history on their side for well over a decade together: John Stockton and Karl Malone. And they have zero championships to show for it. Their 114 playoff victories are second only to the No. 1 team on our list when it comes to most postseason wins without a championship.

In fact, from 1984-2003, the Jazz made the playoffs in 20 consecutive years, good enough for fourth all-time. Here's the stage that they exited the postseason in those 20 years:

First Round - 9
Conference Semifinals - 6
Conference Finals - 3
NBA Finals - 2

Those two Finals appearances were particularly grueling for Jazz fans, going up against the last two years of Michael Jordan's [Chicago Bulls] dynasty. At least they can have a justified gripe that MJ pushed off on his shot over Bryon Russell.

- Matt Yoder, The Comeback, 2016

Check out the full piece to read more on the Jazz, and these other teams. Also, you're just gonna have to check out The Comeback to see what order Matt ranks the futility of these franchises.



Let's feel a little worse and/or better about those finals Jazz teams. Remember when the Jazz lost to the Chicago Bulls 96-54 in the NBA Finals? Well, the Jazz put on their big-boy pants and took care of business and did not just self-destruct -- like some other teams seemingly have.

Dan Feldman of NBC sports adds:

Utah coach Jerry Sloan offered a blunt assessment:

"They ate us alive."

If that was the case, what should we say about these [Golden State Warriors]?

We've never seen anything like Golden State, which won a record 73 games. So, obviously, we've never seen a team so good lose so badly in the playoffs - by a combined 52 points in its last two games.

We've also never seen a 67-win team stumble so badly in consecutive postseason games. Or a 65-win team. Or even a 60-win team.

In NBA history, 85 teams have won 60 games in a season or the equivalent with a shorter schedule. None had lost consecutive playoff games by a combined 50 points until the best of the bunch - the 73-9 Warriors - did it Games 3 and 4 of the 2016 Western Conference finals.

Golden State's 133-105 and 118-94 losses to the [Oklahoma City Thunder] undercut the 1998 Jazz, who lost by a combined 47 in their two games against Chicago.

The next-best team to lose consecutive playoff games by 52 was the 2014 Thunder, who went 59-23 and dropped 122-105 and112-77 contests to the [San Antonio Spurs].

- Dan Feldman, NBC Sports, 2016

Dan looks over EVERY team that has won at least 60 regular season games (prorated for teams in lockout shortened years), and charted out their worst two-game stretch in overall +/- in that seasons' playoffs. There's a handy chart over at NBC Sports for you to look at (and a table too!), so you should click on the link.

Yes, the Jazz did take it on the chin in the NBA Finals game, but the worst record for the 1997 Bulls team (that won 69 games) happened at the hands of the Jazz too. (Same with the 1996 Seattle Supersonics who had won 64 games, and the 1998 Los Angeles Lakers that had won 61 games)

Golden State's -52 in two games is really bad, much worse in my mind than the Jazz' -47 -- the Dubs weren't playing Michael Jordan and his refs. Utah was. The next teams on the list are the 1006 Orlando Magic (-43), the 2010 Cleveland Cavaliers (-42), the 1998 Seattle Supersonics (-40), and the 1973 Boston Celtics (-40).

Blowouts are bad for morale. But what matters more is how you respond. I kind of expect the Golden State Warriors to win Game 5. After all, they are already immune to getting suspended. They should be immune to math and probabilities as well.



Well, Australia has released their 17 man roster in the lead up for the Rio 2016 Olympics. Of course, Joe Ingles is on it.

And Joe had this to say:

To be at the top of your game long enough to represent your nation over a span of 12 years is remarkable. (It's something Raul Lopez did as well, as mentioned in a previous Downbeat.) The other players making the 17-Man roster that you may be familiar with are: David Andersen (former NBA player), Cameron Bairstow (Chicago Bulls), Aron Baynes (Detroit Pistons), Andrew Bogut (Golden State Warriors), Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers), Nathan Jawai (Jabba The Hutt Rec league), Patrick Mills (San Antonio Spurs), Brock Motum (Legendary player) and Dante Exum (Utah Jazz).

Dante is still not at 100% so for the time being Kevin Lisch will be holding onto his spot. Boomer's head coach Andrej Lemanis said, "Dante is going really well, his rehab is on track but there are still hurdles to overcome in terms of being confident enough to compete on the world stage." (NBL Website, 2016)

Dante, again, while not 100%, has at least been cleared for full contract. (Which means he has been cleared by the Jazz as well.)

Cutting five more guys doesn't seem impossible -- it's all the more easier if Dante does sit out. But on paper, if everyone is healthy, this is a pretty nice roster.

DB 1920 - Rio 2016 Olympics Australia Roster 17 Man

(Source: Wikipedia)

Of course, they are already in a rough group in the Olympic draw -- having the United States, China, Venezuela, and the top two qualifying teams from the Olympic Qualifying Tournament still to join. (France, Turkey, Serbia, Greece, Croatia, Canada, among others, could be joining that group)



Oh, and in case you somehow didn't know -- Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was 1st runner-up for the All-NBA Defensive teams this year.

1st Team:

The Celtics had "no chill" with this tweet though. I still remember that block.

2nd Team:

Of course, Rudy Gobert had 64 Votes (17 1st team votes, btw) . . . which is more than two of the guards who made the second team. But that's just how it goes. I don't know how any of this works, as Klay Thompson finished with 49 Votes, and didn't make it in over PG13. Awards are great, but it seems like you don't win them out of your own efforts. Even in this era were every game on every night is in HD -- people still don't know the game, or the players who actually help a team win. Asked for comment, Rudy Gobert had this to say:

That's a killer attitude to have, and great motivation for the next season.

Go get it, Gobzilla. (NSFW for savage blocks)